28 DAYS OF BLACKNESS: Why Janet Jackson Still Matters

In this picture, Janet must have been in her early 20’s. This was after FAME, Good Times, Dif’rent Strokes and after her brothers–one in particular!– had taken over the world. And here come Janet with her second album CONTROL in 1986, when I was 5. And I have loved her ever, ever since.

With all those of us whom started school in the 1980’s we know who Janet is! And if there was no Janet Jackson, there would be no Beyoncé Knowles. And without Josephine Baker and Grace Jones, there would have been no Janet Jackson. But, let’s focus.

In her 4, 5 decades long career, I, too have grown up with her, and there was a sadness in her, that I gravitated towards. Something which was unsure, but confident, determined to be who she wanted to be. I loved Janet, still love Janet, because is the epitome of what it means to still do what you love–as you want to do it!

Beyoncé will never be Janet. I don’t take that back.

My favorite songs by her are still Alright, Runaway, I Get So Lonely, Black Cat. Janet matters because she broke out of the mold of brothers the world knew on first name basis, and a brother whom no one could catch–WITH HER OWN TALENT! HER TALENT!


With Lifetime doing the 2-part/2-night documentary in November, in the footage released, with Janet being both regal and candid, I still see that same dichotomy I saw when I first saw her perform Nasty Boys and Control! That power is still there, that drive is still there—and Janet is still a whole icon. Perhaps she always was!

And she deserves to be…

[image from Billboard]


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